Wednesday, December 29, 2010

mini art journal challenge: weeks 38 and 39

Week 38: "I wonder...". This is the last stretch of my pregnancy, and we chose not to find out what we were having, so the only thing on my mind at the moment is "what" this baby is! I love surprises, but the waiting is killing me. Up to recently, I thought it could well be a girl (or maybe I really want it to be a girl!). Now I'n not too sure. Whenever we ask Tahi, he says it's a boy. A couple of weeks ago I had a vivid dream: I was giving birth, a natural birth (yay!) by the sea, alone. I held the baby and then there was this close up of the genital: it was a boy! It doesn't get much clearer than that as far as premonitory dreams go... (or maybe it's the baby telling me something!).
(Flea is the nickname we gave the baby)

Week 39: "Someone spesh". It had to be my best friend, my sister, my childhood accomplice. We've known each other since we were kids, we grew up in the same town, went through teenage hood and then adulthood side by side. We've gone separate ways, she lives in Germany with her husband and I live in New Zealand with my (expanding) little family, but whenever we see each other, it's like nothing's changed. I am lucky, we only grow up once, and childhood friends are unique, you can't replace them.

Whenever I think of my best childhood friend, I have this song that pops up in my head (like in movies), it's a song we used to listen to a lot, and it was "our" song...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The day after Xmas

We had a lovely Xmas day, with first a very flash lunch with some friends ( included an entree of crayfish, a main of ham and raw fish in coconut sauce and 5 different desserts!), then the rest of the afternoon at the beach with other friends, it was nice and relaxed, perfect!
While Europe is struggling with the bad cold weather, we are getting to the peak of summer with some pretty hot days. Best thing to do is to spend some time cooling off at the beach! Our local one has some nice little swimming holes at low tide, perfect for little toddlers!

This is my favorite time of the year, I am not a winter person, especially not when living in a house that gets as cold as outside.
The bump is coming along!

I've managed to spend a bit of time in my workshop, haven't got round to Xmas presents yet, but I did make myself a couple of night shorts since I had none and my winter pants were definitely too warm.

I made the shirt a while ago (but had no camera to take any pics), from two different shirts I found at the op shop.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

mini art journal challenge: weeks 36 and 37

It's been very interesting doing this challenge (and trying to stick to it!), I've found quite a few of the weekly themes related closely to my personal situation at the time. It's never been so true with the card for week 36. The theme was "strength". It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do, but I knew it would resonate.
When I was pregnant with Tahi, I got this condition called obstetric cholestasis. We only found out I had it the day before Tahi was born, and it kind of triggered a series of events that made my birth experience a bad one, or rather a non eventful one since it ended up being an emergency cesarian. I have to add that on top of that Tahi was breech, and even though we were ready and willing to have a vaginal breech birth (call me crazy), the obstetricians wouldn't have a bar of it.
Anyway, three years later and pregnant again, I knew it was highly likely I'd get cholestasis again, and I was wasn't looking froward to the complications it involved. It is considered "high risk" and as such has to be supervised by obstetricians and specialists. Since my first experience of a highly medicalized birth wasn't that great, I am willing to avoid having to deal with hospitals and doctors as much as possible.
When my liver functions came back high, I found it hard to think positively. I'd felt it coming back a few weeks before and had started taking some herbal remedies and watching what I ate (I'll get into more detail in a future post). Josh was away working in Wellington and I was on my own with Tahi, cycling everywhere since we only have one car. I was pretty tired (still am actually!). I knew this card had to help me keep my head cool. I think this is my favourite card so far. I stuck it on our computer, so I see it everyday and it really uplifts my spirits. Just for this card, I'm glad I started this challenge and managed to stick to it (so far!)!

I painted the card with yellow and red paint then cut out a fabric butterfly and sewed it on the card. I also sewed a cross I cut out of some nice paper I had, then stuck on a yin and yang sign, a tree and a foetus wearing a high hat (!). I used an alphabet ruler to write the words "believe" and "be positive".

Week 37 also helped upflift my mood: "life is beautiful". Nothing like looking at what's positive in your life to help you feel better. I realized I am pretty lucky to live the life I am living, sometimes I feel like I'm living on a little fluffy white cloud. I am blessed, in a lot of ways. And I am still two months away from my due date, which means I've got that much time to try and minimize the seriousness of my cholestasis (which I have managed so far!).

I cut out a drawing of a girl out of a magazine, then used some purple stars from some wrapping paper I've had for years (yes I'm a hoarder). I cut some strip out from a purple balloon left over from Tahi's birthday and finally sewed a cute blue heart shaped button.

On this note, I would like to wish everyone a very merry Xmas, filled with joy and happy moments with loved ones. We started this little family tradition of planting a tree (instead of killing one!) at this tiem very year. So tomorrow we'll be planting a Tahitian Lime and a Kefir Lime in our garden!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

mini art journal challenge: weeks 30 to 35

Yes I am still doing my weekly cards! I didn't have a camera for so long this challenge seems to have fallen into a vortex. Anyway, I'm so far behind I won't comment much on them, just let the visual do the talking.

Week 30: "Count your blessings". I wanted it to look like these scrolls you can see hanging in buddhist temples.

Week 31: "No regrets". All I could think of was this french singer Edith Piaf, who sang a beautiful song about not having any regrets. I tried to draw her face from a photo, onto a background of a stone wall. Not exactly her but close enough! (watch the song here)

Week 32: "Quiet"

Week 33: "10mn". I thought I'd do better, this card is pretty plain an uninteresting.

Week 34: "Ha ha". Ok, so with this card I realized my drawing skills need to be polished, hopefully my sense of humour is alright though! Hair salons in New Zealand seem to like names involving a play on words, like a good laugh will make your hair shinier or something!

Week 35: "Draw something". Same comment as above. I tried to draw a water lily...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pre Christmas op shopping

Is not usually that great, but I did find some gems last week! First, one of our local op shops always has a sale the week before Xmas, one of those fill a bag for $5. So of course I had to fill one, and I found lots of little shelves (very useful in the workshop for putting away bobbins of thread). I also found this beautiful Pyrex dish (I'm in love with Pyrex). Not that we need one more right now, but at the rate at which things get broken in this house, I figured I might as well stock up when I find a good one (and take a photo before it gets broken!).

I also found a mouli, which I had been looking for for ages. There are some aluminum ones in another shop, but they don't look nearly as cool and I don't like my food to be in contact with aluminum anyway. If you don't know what a mouli is, I'll say just that, it makes the yummiest lightest mashed potatoes and is well worth investing in! Sometimes op shopping reminds me of treasure hunting, all that excitement of finding an object you'd been looking for, the need to grab it fast before anyone else casts an eye on it and the exhilaration of putting it safely into your shopping bag. The thrill, the thrill!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Time spent in the kitchen...

I have been pretty tired, and haven't stepped into my workshop for over 2 weeks now. I'm dying to get in there and get all my ideas out of my head before it explodes, but by the time I get to the evenings I can hardly drag myself to bed, so I'll leave the sewing to later on (I hope!). One thing I can do while Tahi is awake though, is spend time making stuff in the kitchen, which has been really nice. I made strawberry jam, rhubarb cordial, crackers, cookies, failed miserably at making mozzarella 3 times but succeeded at making a really nice halloumi a few days ago! I looooove halloumi. It's one of my favorite cheeses. Simply fried and added to a summery salad, mmmm... too bad I'm not really supposed to eat dairy. I had to try it though, and I'm happy to say it tasted just like the best halloumi on the shelves. It was easier to make than mozzarella too, and added bonus, I managed to make a decent amount of ricotta with the left over whey!
I found the recipe on a cool blog called Alessandra Zecchini (that's where I also found the recipe for making rhubarb cordial).
Without doubt the best halloumi you can buy in New Zealand!  Photo thanks to Cook Almost Anything, where you can find a good halloumi salad recipe as well!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Merino singlet giveaway winner

Hello, sorry my posts have been very sporadic lately. I have to admit not being able to take pictures has left me slightly uninspired, and although this is usually a busy time of the year involving lots of crafty fun gift making, I haven't even stepped into my workshop for over a week! (I can't believe I've managed to stay away from it!). I'm taking things slowly and focusing on rest, it's not like I ever manage to get xmas presents made on time anyway, so these will be late as usual!
Anyway, the lucky winner of the merino singlet giveaway is Stace from Knightlight, congratulations!
Now all you need is to choose a size, design and color!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dino party

Seeing Tahi's been pretty much obsessed with dinosaurs for a few months now, it was only logical to throw a Dinosaur party for his birthday!
So of course I made a dinosaur cake, with a hired mould. It looked horrible (I'm pretty terrible at making birthday cakes) because I didn't put the icing on properly. No photos. But Tahi loved it and couldn't stop staring at it, I think mainly because of the dinosaur lollies I had stuck on it. Of course that's all he ate from the cake!
We hadn't organized any games this year, Josh is away working in Wellington and I was busy enough making Tahi's costume and getting the food sorted. It took me a week to finish his costume but I was pretty happy with the result, and Tahi thought it was great so that made it all worth it.
In all, a lovely chilled afternoon with friends and kids, hanging out in the backyard, munching on strawberries and sipping orange tea (a special drink I'd made, well actually it's orange marmalade mistakenly turned into syrup, but it works perfectly for drinks!).

The garden is looking pretty good at the moment, and we have been getting some nice veges from it lately, which is so very pleasing and rewarding! Below is my prize winning broccoli.